Internationally-acclaimed one woman show blasts pregnancy taboo

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Build A Rocket, Serena Manteghi, Credit Sam Taylor

This autumn an award-winning one-woman show is heading to Oxford Playhouse’s Burton Taylor Studio.

Following international acclaim and an award-winning run at the Adelaide Fringe Festival, this powerful and uplifting one-woman show about a young mother from Scarborough returns to embark on an extensive UK tour.

Winner of the Holden Street Theatres’ Edinburgh Fringe Award 2018, Adelaide Fringe Best Theatre Weekly Award 2019 and named The Sunday Mail’s Best Female Solo Show (Adelaide), Build a Rocket will see critically-acclaimed Serena Manteghi reprise her role as Yasmin. Hard-hitting yet inspiring, this funny and heart-warming production, written by Scarborough-born Christopher York, challenges our perceptions about young motherhood.

Build A Rocket, Serena Manteghi, Credit Sam Taylor

Yasmin is a bright 16-year-old from a small seaside town. In an instant, her world is turned upside down when she becomes pregnant with her son, Jack. Suddenly her life isn’t sandcastles, arcades, and donkey rides. Abandoned by both the father of her child and her alcoholic mother, Yasmin faces one of life’s great challenges completely alone – but can the thing which threatens to ruin her life actually be the thing which saves her?

Writer Christopher York said: “Teenage pregnancy is so demonised and we’re quick to blame teenagers. There was a girl I was at school with who had a child at 15. I was astounded at her resilience and that she went on to pass her GCSEs, go to college and university, get married and raise a wonderful human being. She is a phenomenal person. We are still conservative about these topics.

Build A Rocket, Serena Manteghi, Credit Sam Taylor

“If we were more open and Scandinavian about how we tackled sex and sexual health, especially with young people, we may not have the statistics we do. “

Director Paul Robinson added: “I’m delighted that Build a Rocket will be going on a national tour in co- production with Tara Finney Productions. It’s a key strategic priority for the SJT to be touring bold, resonant and relevant contemporary work as well as to further champion local emerging artist Christopher York on a national platform.

“The tour will allow us to reach a broader spectrum of audiences geographically as well as engage directly with local schools which is a wonderful prospect.”

Build A Rocket, Serena Manteghi, Credit Sam Taylor

In addition to touring to theatres and arts centres across the UK, Build a Rocket will be performed at six schools in North Yorkshire generously supported by the Noel Coward Foundation.

Build a Rocket, which embarks on an extensive UK tour from mid-September, is coming to the Oxford Playhouse’s Burton Taylor studio from 16 to 17 September.

For further information visit www.oxfordplayhouse.com

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